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Xbox 360 currently banned in Germany, along with other Microsoft products such as Windows 7

Xbox 360 Sales Ban in Germany

Xbox 360 currently banned in Germany, along with other Microsoft products such as Windows 7

Thanks to an ongoing patent law battle Microsoft products including the Xbox 360 and, even more incredibly, Windows 7, are  likely to be banned from sale in Germany.

Now it’s important that companies are held to account for their actions and made to take their responsibilities seriously, but this seems a grotesque over-reaction. Not only will gamers not currently be able to get hold of perhaps the most important console of the current generation but surely now the procurement policies of a lot of businesses will be thrown into turmoil as they can no longer acquire new PCs running the worlds most popular operating system.

Has patent law really become so overbearing that it’s capable of temporarily bringing big chunks of the gaming hobby and the technology business to its knees? I see shades of the legal fight over media copyright here and am forced to repeat what’s quickly becoming a very tired old saw: that technology is currently moving a lot faster than the ability of nation states to keep up with it. Sooner or later, something is going to have to give.

Matt Thrower

Matt is a board gamer who plays video games when he can't find anyone similarly obsessive to play against, which is frequently. The inability to get out and play after the birth of his first child lead him to start writing about games as a substitute for playing them. He founded and writes there and at

3 thoughts on “Xbox 360 Sales Ban in Germany

  1. I don’t know about the 360, but when it comes to Windows, I think The Pirate Bay laughs in the face of you silly sales ban. And yes, I think it is justified for German users to pirate Windows if the government refuses to allow it to be sold there.

  2. Is this not further proof that the core principals of Patents are now completely corrupted.

    Saying that I’m currently patenting the Pisslympics.

  3. The weirdest thing is that, as I understand it, this entire lawsuit is based off some patents that Motorola registered as being required for, like wifi or something, and which they are required to license to anybody who wants it for some “reasonable” amount (it’s called FRAND). There’s hundreds to thousands of patents like this that companies all pull together and agree that if you license them then everybody gets, like a couple tenths of a cent per patent they contributed and you can use the technology. Except Motorola wants multiple percent (instead of cents) of the products and they’ve managed to convince Germany that this is reasonable. In the meantime, the EU is preparing this massive investigation into the practice and are probably going to end up fining Motorola massive amounts of money for being ridiculous. So, there should be a positive ending to this.

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